Bitter Sweet Chocolate

August 13, 2011
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When you’re a 15 years old girl, there are only a few important things in your life. Your friends, your love, school and what you’re going to do on the weekend. I’m like that, a 100%. Since the end of summer, everything just kicked in, like I had never left.
I got into homeroom at 8:00 a.m sharp (my mom insisted to wake me up an hour earlier than usual) and there it was. To my horror I was exposed to my new 11th grade class. The boy who was a complete asshole and tried to hook up with every girl he laid his eyes on. The girl who flicked her hair every two seconds, and laughs like a dying hyena. And the teacher who hates my guts.

A week passes by. And in that week, I’ve only had one good day. It was good because one of the popular girls chuckled at my joke. How pathetic is that? But anyway, the other four days was composed of bullying and commenting on my new messy bangs, that I cut myself. My mom refused to let me permanently curl my hair so I rebelled by being my own stylist for a day. Which didn’t turn out to well. People call me “Paloma-Scissor-Hands” now.
Another thing I had to face was my family. My dad frustrates the hell out of me, my brother doesn’t talk to me anymore and my mom…is just plain mental. My mom and I have been fighting a lot; just today I covered my face with my book at the beach, to hide my tears. I didn’t want to appear weak in front of her.
But everything changed. When on the Sunday of the next week, my mother brought to my room…a kitten. I screamed at her for invading my personal space and she left quietly with the mewing kitten in her hands. The next day, I saw the kitten for myself.
I fell in love with it.
It was my birthday in a few days, and I didn’t know what to do or what to get. So I was convinced this kitten was a birthday present from god. She was left abandoned by her mother; therefore she was weak and crying all the time. Mom told me that she was going to die, that when I started screaming at her again. She left the room quietly once more. I insisted to feed her and make a bed for her. I even named her…Kina. From the singer Kina Grannis. There was no way on earth this kitten would die.
I came home every day from another horrible day of school, rushed to my bathroom and held her in my hands. She had officially become the highlight of my day, the sunshine I so desperately needed. I whispered in her soft furry ears “I love you Kina”. Which I knew was wrong, because I knew somewhere inside of me that this would be a mistake and I would get hurt. Everything I loved, left me. But I needed this. I needed to cross this boundary. Because Kina had saved my life.
Tonight I went in to feed her. She wouldn’t eat, I watched the milk dribble off her pink tongue, she spluttered and closed her eyes. I screamed for my mother, but this time I screamed for a different reason.
“MOM! Come in here!”
The small lifeless kitten was fading, fast. She would roll around in the small towel I held her in. She was barely even breathing.
“Darling she’s dying”
I hated my mother at that moment. I put up with her all this time, but it was enough. I fought with her, screaming and shouting names and insults I wish only now I could take back. But the small mew of the cat made me stop.
She was dying.
I wanted to pull her soul back into body. I imagined her moving her legs and opening her eyes once more. Pretending that, she was just taking a short nap. That this wasn’t actually real. I realized that fighting with my mother, wouldn’t bring the kitten, that saved my life, back to life. I cried. I wanted to show my mother, sometimes I was weak. We placed her in the box. And my mother held me and I held her back.
I was scared. I was scared of the routine. I didn’t want life to move on, I wanted the whole world to cry with me, to cry for Kina. I didn’t want to do my homework. I didn’t want to go on facebook and see people write about the latest concert in the area or what they did that weekend. Because that didn’t matter. All I wanted to do was cry, and stay sad forever. I tried desperately to recollect how it felt to pet her warm fur and hold this fragile being on my palm. I swallowed and walked away from Kina, who was now dead in the cardboard box.
I went back to my computer and there it was. My life. It all kicked in, like I had never left. There was the text message my friend sent me minutes ago, and the history homework I was working on. So with my hole in my heart, I moved on. I replied the text and finished my essay on World War Two. After all that, I just closed my computer and stared at the wall. My mother came by and handed me a piece of chocolate.
“In Chinese tradition when someone dies, people give the grieving family one gold coin and one piece of candy to appease the pain”
I hugged my mom and cried. Then, I ate the chocolate. It was bitter sweet. Probably 70% cocoa. It was so similar to this situation. It was sweet because now, when I walked into that classroom the next day. I would feel stronger than the asshole boy and the flicking-hair girl. I would look at life, as something valuable. That I shouldn’t waste my time on bullies and popularity. But it was bitter as well, because I had lost something that I would never get back. Oh wait I did gain something…my love for my mom.

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